Marriage... a religious insitution?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 20, 2008 10:24 PM GMT
    I just read a post by someone who described marriage as a religious institution. Is that what some people really think?

    Maybe it was... when "the world was flat," but now you get civil rights when you are married.

    If marriage were a religious institution... how come athetists can get married? Which religious ceremony is "the right one"? Jewish, Islam, Catholism, Baptist, Wiccan?

    I have ALWAYS thought that marriage was a right... not a religious custom. That's why there are justices of the peace. That's why religious leaders say, "...and by the power invested to me by the state of [Enter state name here], I now pronounce you Woman and husband. You may now kiss the groom."

    What is your perception of marriage?
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Oct 20, 2008 10:33 PM GMT
    It is a secular institution which can have various tangential properties which vary if you are part of a religious or nationalistic tradition - properties such as ceremonial variations and national customs and proprieties such as who you can/should get married to.

    The obvious and most consistent and fair legal position has always seemed to me to allow any two consenting adults to get married by the state and let any religious group who has the right to marry people keep whatever prejudices they like. If someone does not want to marry a Catholic to a Protestant, by all means, don't. If someone does not want to marry a man to a man, by all means, don't. Just don't go forcing your religious or otherwise idealogical values on others (something that may be fine in a theocracy but not here).
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Oct 20, 2008 10:45 PM GMT
    I just wanted to add that it is important, i think, to ackgnowledge that marriage is, in all places and throughout most of human civilization, steeped in the tradition and culture of the people who practiced it. So for many centuries in the western world where there was no seperation of church and state marriage was a religious institution indeed.

    However throughout most of human history, and i mean literally most of homo sapien history, there was no concept of marriage as an institution. The idea of marriage as an institution, meaning a relationship that is officially recognized with various social commitments, benefits, and traditional cultural proprieties, is, relatively speaking, an extremely recent concept. The fact that our particular history here in the west includes almost two millenia of an instututional concept of marriage entwined with various Christian and Protestant values and beliefs seems much less important given the much wider historical context.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 20, 2008 10:46 PM GMT
    Yes it is a religious institution but now It is a social institution as well. Until they revoke the laws referring to marriage civil unions will never be equal
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Oct 20, 2008 10:49 PM GMT
    For all the people who say that it's basically a religious institution
    They should give up all the 312 economic and social perks that they get
    when they submit their license


    d'accord ?
    icon_wink.gif
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    Oct 20, 2008 11:01 PM GMT
    It drives me nuts when I hear people who have no conception of the history involved say that marriage was always a religious institution since the beginning of man, or for thousands of years, or some other such drivel just to support their little narrow world view.

    Marriage began in the Middle East and Far East as a method of combining the wealth of separate tribes (big among the Beduins and certain other tribes) into larger houses in order to gain material wealth as well as control of territories. Women were not married for love; they were considered chattel and property to be traded, bought and sold (ie married) to powerful men as a form of tribute (for their sexual services and ability to provide offspring to be further traded, in the form of daughters, or hiers to the power, in the form of sons) and payment for lands and/or goods exchanged. The very concept of the wedding ring itself is derived from the nose ring, which married women, whether singular, or as was often found, in harems, were required to wear to not only denote that they were owned, but also to be used to, quite literally, "lead them by the nose" in case of recalcitrance into the bedchamber of their husband, who was in fact their master.

    In the earliest forms, and in some cases right up into the 20th Century, marriage was a very real form of enslavement on women, and only in the west, with the rise of Christianity, and later the rise of Women's Sufferage, did we see marriage being undertaken for reasons of love.

    On the other hand, among numerous Native American tribes, some of which were Matriarchal in nature, it was the women who held the property and the power, and if a woman chose to divorce her husband, she could do so by simply leaving his kit of belongings outside the lodge or tipi.

    So, for many generations, marriage was not a religious institution, but rather a secular one revolving around property and tribal growth.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 20, 2008 11:02 PM GMT
    GQjock saidFor all the people who say that it's basically a religious institution
    They should give up all the 312 economic and social perks that they get
    when they submit their license


    d'accord ?
    icon_wink.gif

    I heard somewhere that when you get married you share about 1100 civil rights with your spouse.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 20, 2008 11:18 PM GMT
    When the Government recognizes religious marriage the constitution is stretched in the issue of separation of church and state.

    Same sex marriage as well as traditional marriage discriminates against my right to be single and to be religion free.
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    Oct 20, 2008 11:50 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidSame sex marriage as well as traditional marriage discriminates against my right to be single and to be religion free.


    huh?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 21, 2008 2:57 AM GMT
    Marriage is a contract. Period.

    Religions can accept it or not. They have no business deciding who enters the contract under the law.
  • healthy1

    Posts: 47

    Oct 21, 2008 3:21 AM GMT
    I agree that marriage is a civil (secular) institution. State law defines who can and cannot marry and what you must do to get married. It also determines when a marriage ends and what you must do to end it. For these reasons marriage is certainly a civil and legal relationship.

    At the same time, marriage is also a religious institution for some people. If you are a Christian, then marriage has religious significance because the Bible has many references to marriage, beginning with the Genesis account of Adam and Eve. No doubt other religions have similar "claims" to marriage as an institution.

    It all depends on your views and beliefs. If you have no religious beliefs, then for you marriage is only a secular institution and, of course, you need not include any religious symbolism in your wedding ceremony.
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Oct 24, 2008 8:26 PM GMT
    Yes marriage is a civil construct designed to protect property even when that property might include wife(s) and children.It's more like a merger than anything. Just as the state regulates mergers it "regulates" marriage. Marriage should really be called a civil union.
    Many culture celebrate this union with cultural or religious trimmings. Some just sign over the bill of goods from one "family" to another. The word marriage which derives from the word matrimony describes the state one is in after the legal union.

    One thing that annoyes me about all this is when I read, even in the NYTimes, that so and so were married by so and so. No one marries people. They marry or join in a civil union with each other. Some one might officiate or act as a witness. But no one does the "marrying" except the parties involved.

    Marriage has nothing to do anything but the regulation on property.
  • Fiveldsp

    Posts: 99

    Oct 24, 2008 8:41 PM GMT
    Marriage is just a word, yet a word that so many people are fighting for on both sides. The religious fanatics will never let go of it because their bible tells them to protect it at all costs. We will never let down our guard because we want the same rights and benefits as everyone around us. In reality, it's not about the word at all, it's about the rights, the benefits and the equality that it represents. If we would have just called it something so simple as civil unions or partner benefits or something to that matter, the religious fanatics wouldn't be nearly as anxious as they are now, because their "marriage" and it's "sanctity" are still in tact. This is at least the understanding I get from it when I talk to friends and people opposed to gay marriage.

    Think about it, every time that the conservatives argue about gay marriage, it's always the same drill... Marriage is between one man and one woman... along with... we must protect the american family and the sanctity of marriage. They never say anything about "Gays don't deserve equal rights" or anything, because in their minds, the entire argument is about what they believe that word means to them and they will not budge. That's how i feel about it at least... we should focus on the rights behind what we want, instead of a word.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 25, 2008 1:25 AM GMT
    fiveldspaThink about it, every time that the conservatives argue about gay marriage, it's always the same drill... Marriage is between one man and one woman... along with... we must protect the american family and the sanctity of marriage. They never say anything about "Gays don't deserve equal rights" or anything


    Then you must be meeting some pretty laid-back conservatives, because all of the ones I've met who feel that way DO want to restrict our rights to adopt children, and to teach in schools, and in some cases to live where we want and work in our jobs. That's really what this whole fight over Gay marriage is about... not whether we can use the word "marry," but whether we can share in the same societal rights as the rest of Americans enjoy, such as passing real property to one's spouse upon one's death; rights of inheritance, and all of the other rights that those who are married enjoy, as compared to those who are only in "civil unions."